What I Drank Last Night
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Gabriëlskloof Viognier 2009

Peachy, but not too peachy.

Peachy, but not too peachy.

While I very much expect Maties to beat Ikeys as they duly did in last night’s Varsity Cup rugby match, I don’t expect to like Viognier. No, not even from Condrieu. Too much heady perfume, too much oak, too much alcohol.

It had been asked of me to review the range of Gabriëlskloof and given my general antipathy towards Viognier as a variety, I was therefore surprised when the 2009 from this new Bot River property proved its best wine by far.

The wine was fermented in a combination of 300-litre and 400-litre French oak barrels, 100% new and matured for six months. The wine has an expressive but not overblown nose of potpourri, peach and vanilla while the palate shows good flavour concentration and texture while tangy acidity lends balance. Abv 14.4%, RS 3.1g/l, TA 6.5g/l, pH 3.23.

The Gabriëlskloof winemaker is Kobie Viljoen, previously responsible for red wine at Spier, but this carefully considered Viognier suggests he might soon be better known for his whites. Price per bottle from the tasting room: R89.

Comments

  1. Shane Gordon says:

    Having drunk far too much wine and having a penchant for keeping to to see how it changes I can honestly say that Condrieu ages well up to 5 yrs and on my annual SA pilgrimage in Jan this year I opened a lone bottle of Kumkani Viognier 2005 which I had purchased in 2010 at a knockdown price without any expectations. I was more than pleasantly surprised. It had honeyed out and integrated beautifully becoming bathed in soft oak which complimented the apricot, honey fruit with alcohol in good balance. I was extremely disappointed that I only had the one bottle. As far as my experiences with Condrieu go it too softens and honeys with time but can become a little alcohol heavy as its acidity softens.

  2. Kwispedoor says:

    I’m not sure there’s really a point to maturing (esp. SA) Viognier. I’m waiting for an approriate blind tasting to put a 2004 Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Viognier on, though. Just for interest sake. Still waiting…

  3. Christian says:

    Hi Elias, I’m pretty confident it will provide good drinking for the next 12 to 24 months but after that, I’d prefer not to speculate. Not sure what evolved Viognier is supposed to taste like, for one thing…

  4. The analyses suggests it will last a few years, what do you reckon from tasting it? I’m a big viognier fan…

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